Psyllium Husk Benefits for Bloating, Digestion and Overall Health
Psyllium husk refers to the outside part of the seed of a plant, the plantago ovate. When stacked together, they almost resemble a large pile of transparent, elongated fingernails and certainly do not look like anything that you would want to eat. Apparently, the digestive tract does not think so either, because it does not digest them. Psyllium husk is used almost exclusively for commercial products to promote digestive health and, they do it rather effectively. Serving as a remedy for constipation, bloating, symptoms of IBS and a whole host of other gastrointestinal ails; psyllium husk benefits serve as a truly super food of sorts for a troublesome tummy.
Normally, the outer seed coatings are milled into psyllium husk powder for use as a fiber supplement. And, these fiber supplements are used by many people for different things. But, the most common use is to relieve constipation and to aid in the achievement of bowel regularity. The psyllium fiber supplements manage this by adding bulk to the stools which can assist in making them easier to pass. Additionally, as noted by WebMD, psyllium husk benefits found in supplement products like Metamucil (often hailed as the best fiber supplement and one of the most recommended by both loyal fans and physicians alike) also help the digestive system work by increasing the amount of water in the stool, another mechanism that helps to afford easy passage through the digestive tract.
Decreasing the amount of time that stool spends in the long path to total digestion is another of the many psyllium husk benefits to be found for those encountering digestive problems. When stool remains in the intestines for too long, precious water can be lost as it is absorbed by the colon. This in turn can create stools that are hard and dry and therefore much more difficult to pass. This of course can lead to constipation and the symptoms that accompany it such as cramping, abdominal discomfort, gas and stomach bloating. Relieving occasional constipation and helping to reduce the frequency of same for sufferers of the chronic form of the condition are both psyllium husk benefits that are related to the plant product’s role in achieving and maintaining digestive regularity. It is interesting to note that while a sudden uptake in the amount of fiber (whether psyllium husk supplement or natural source of dietary fiber) can cause symptoms such as gas and bloating, when these symptoms are a result of internal tummy troubles such as constipation or IBS, fiber sources can play an important role in the reduction of these types of problematic symptoms.
Psyllium husk benefits are not simply limited to improving the production rate of fecal matter down below however. In fact, as indicated by the manufacturers of Metamucil, psyllium can be a beneficial component of a heart healthy diet by providing insoluble fiber that has been shown to reduce cholesterol and therefore the overall risk of heart disease.
So, from the cardiovascular system to the digestive system and everywhere in between, it is clear that psyllium husk benefits are plentiful. For those that are unable to take full advantage of dietary fiber benefits from whole food sources, psyllium supplements can help to fill the gap and promote greater overall health. However, experts explain that foods rich in fiber should always be selected over supplements when possible in order to obtain the other benefits provided by them. High fiber foods provide the same digestive, heart and overall health benefits of psyllium but also the nutrients from the whole foods that unfortunately, psyllium supplements do lack. Regardless, psyllium husk benefits do have their place amongst those lacking in fiber, providing a pathway to digestive regularity with some additional healthy perks picked up along the way.